One of the most common nutritional deficiencies globally is a lack of Iron. According to a WHO report, this occurs in 1 in 3 people. (4)
When foods with Iron are not included in the diet, severe consequences occur in the body. The lack of Iron causes errors in the processes of oxygen transfer to the tissues, and the immune system is weakened.
This article describes the foods with the most iron, so avoiding iron deficiency is no longer a problem.
List of foods with Iron
Foods with Iron are mainly seafood and various animal products such as liver, eggs, and red meat. The iron content is practically minimal in chicken and whitefish.
In addition, Iron is found in various plant products, such as legumes, lentils, and beans. As well as in multiple pseudo-cereals: buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth. Below you can see a list of foods with Iron:
|Animal food||Iron content per 100 g|
|Pork liver||20 mg|
|Cow liver||17 mg|
|Chicken’s liver||9 mg|
|Chicken meat||2-2 .5 mg|
|Pork Meat||2 mg|
|Plant foods||Iron content per 100 g|
|White beans||8- 10 mg|
|Wheat bran||10-11 mg|
|Buckwheat||7 -8 mg|
|Cashew nuts||7 mg|
|Dark chocolate||5 mg|
List of foods with Iron. Source
Iron foods are essential for vegans and vegetarians.
Going on a vegetarian or vegan diet runs a slightly higher risk of a lack of Iron. Include foods with Iron in the diet to avoid anemia.
Plant foods with Iron are mainly legumes. A significant amount of Iron is found in nuts: peanuts, almonds, and cashews. As well as pseudo-cereals, buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth.
Leafy greens like spinach also fall into the category of iron-rich vegetables. In a vegetarian diet, it is essential to include foods with Iron in the diet to avoid anemia.
Benefits of foods with Iron
In living organisms, Iron is a crucial element that regulates the processes of respiration and the transport of oxygen from the lungs to cells throughout the body.
This is done through a famous protein: hemoglobin. Essentially, it is Iron that gives blood its characteristic red color.
When a considerable decrease in iron levels occurs in the body, disorders of everything in the metabolism can appear.
The lack of Iron leads to a decrease in the level of hemoglobin. Otherwise, it interrupts the proper supply of oxygen to the tissues and significantly reduces the body’s ability to eliminate toxins.
Suppose a person does not consume a sufficient amount of food with Iron. In that case, it can have negative changes in cholesterol levels and the ability to convert calories from food into energy.
1 in 3 people have a lack iron
Chronic iron deficiency or disorder is called anemia. The most common symptoms of anemia are a decrease in concentration, fatigue, and muscle weakness. As well as tachycardia during exercise and shortness of breath.
If the lack of foods with Iron is prolonged, a person begins to have difficulty breathing, and the heartbeat increases, even with slight physical exertion.
In the next stage of anemia, heart failure develops, bone marrow function is inhibited, the defenses fall abruptly, and they are exposed to any infection.
Both supplements and foods with Iron effectively combat anemia and increase Iron in the blood.
Foods with Iron and b12
Anemia does not only occur due to the lack of foods with Iron in the diet. The cause of development of anemia can also be caused by a lack of vitamin B 12 and folic acid.
To prevent this, in some countries, Iron is added to flour, bread, or milk by decree.
The recommended daily amount of Iron is approximately 8-10 mg for men and 10-30 mg for women. This figure can vary during the period of pregnancy and menstruation.
In adolescents, the required amount of Iron is around 10 mg for boys and 15 mg for girls. As can be seen from the list of foods with Iron, this is the equivalent of 100 grams of lentils or beef.
Iron absorption – the problem
It is essential to know that Iron in food has a relatively low absorption level.
Some research claims that the body can absorb no more than 25-30% of total Iron from animal sources. About 16-18% of foods with Iron are of plant origin. (3)
In responsible labeling, the daily doses of iron consumption consider its absorption percentage. These are calculated based on 18% on average.
In addition, the absorption of Iron is reduced by the combination of foods rich in calcium; by tannins contained in tea or coffee.
After eating foods with Iron, you can include foods rich in vitamin C. Citrus fruits such as grapefruit, kiwi, and berries are helpful to improve absorption.
Iron foods vs. supplements
Try to include foods with natural Iron. The multivitamins mineral iron should be used only under prescription and a doctor’s recommendation.
In excess, iron accumulates in the body and leads to poisoning.
Having symptoms of iron deficiency does not exclusively mean that it is due to a lack of this mineral. It may be due to other causes. When not needed, iron supplementation can cause direct health damage.
- Getting an adequate amount of Iron through food is a crucial rule in healthy eating.
- The iron foods are legumes, pseudo-cereals, shellfish, liver, and red meat.
- Iron, together with hemoglobin, fulfill the function of transporting oxygen in the body.
- The lack of Iron causes symptoms such as chronic fatigue, respiratory disorders, and decreased muscle performance.
- To increase the absorption of Iron, it is recommended to combine it with citrus fruits and foods rich in vitamin C.